Communities of practice and lexical variation in the Montréal Turkish community


  • Utkan Boyacıoğlu Izmir University of Economics



ethnography, community of practice, Turkish immigration, Canada


This study examines the social organization of the Turkish community in Montréal and its influence on language use. The Montréal Turkish community has been growing since the 1960s as a result of various waves of migration. Bilge (2004) explained the fragmented structure of the community through ethnicity (Turks, Kurds and Armenians). However, conservative movements have grown stronger in the last two decades in Turkey and recent socio-politic changes are mostly based on religion rather than ethnicity. I anticipate that these sociological changes in Turkey have an impact on the organization of the Turkish community in Montréal and that I can observe the social identity of the members of the Turkish community in Montréal through lexical variation. To verify this prediction, I used a dual methodology: participant observation and analysis of the words used by participants to describe the structure of the Montréal Turkish community, the group to which they feel they belong, and other groups. The ethnographic study confirms that conflicts triggered by the socio-political structure and national ideology in the country of origin are determining factors in the organization of the Montréal Turkish community. Montréal Turks form an immigrant community divided into at least two communities of practice, traditionalist and progressive, each with its own socialization sites and its own discourse/style.




How to Cite

Boyacıoğlu, Utkan. 2022. “Communities of Practice and Lexical Variation in the Montréal Turkish Community”. Bergen Language and Linguistics Studies 12 (2):104-17.